tr?id=1702533549982635&ev=PageView&noscript=1 Three Practical Skills for Family Dogs | Smartypaws

Three Practical Skills for Family Dogs

on 17 January, 2022

There is no doubt that dogs bring a great deal of joy to many homes. When it comes to families with children, adding dogs to the mix can also bring some unique and even unexpected challenges. Basic cues like sit, down, wait, come, and leave-it are tremendously helpful for any pup trying to meet their people’s expectations as a well-mannered companion. Yet, when kids and furry friends are expected to cohabitate peacefully, training a few more skills should be added to the list of polite puppy “tricks”. In addition to basic obedience and contentment while kenneled, Smartypaws encourages families to teach dogs these three practical cues:

  • Mat or Bed: The ability for dogs to go to a bed or mat and wait calmly until released is one that wins a top prize in my book. Dogs that jump on visitors. Dogs that chase kids around the house. Dogs that beg at the kitchen table. Dogs that interrupt your zoom meetings and phone calls. Dogs that have a hard time settling. There are too many scenarios to mention where this skill saves the day! Even children can send pestering pups to their mat.
  • Back: Have you ever tried to walk through a doorway, down a tight hallway, or up the stairs with your hands full? Maybe, you’re bringing in groceries, carrying your baby in the car seat, or trying to race your toddler to the potty before they seep bodily fluid all over your carpet, but your beloved dogs are stoically and unknowingly blocking the way? Rather than swinging bags like a battering ram or trying to scoot your pooches along while tripping over them, prompt your dogs to “back” up. They can move out of your path by taking several steps backwards away from you. Crisis quickly averted by training a simple cue.
  • Hush: Dogs bark for many reasons and some are easily preventable. For instance, if your dog likes to bark incessantly at anything passing by outside, keep the blinds closed or cover the areas where your dog can see out with a frosted window film. Barking is a natural way for dogs to communicate, but that doesn’t make it more tolerable for our ears when the noise lasts more than a few seconds. When you can’t seem to prevent or identify what is making your hound howl, a “quiet” cue can speedily restore your sanity and silence. For families with napping infants and toddlers or night shift workers getting the bulk of their sleep in the day, “hush” comes in very handy.

Dogs that respond reliably to these cues can help minimize stress while maximizing household harmony when life with dogs and kids gets hectic. Call Smartypaws for expert guidance in teaching your dog these important skills. Start now with a sneak peek into our exclusive client instruction video library’s "Mat Training Steps 1 & 2".

Special thanks to colleague and fellow Family Paws Parent Educator Colleen Perry with Pawsitively Waggin' for providing “back” video.



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  • Debra goes above and beyond in every interaction! She trained me. She trained my dogs, and she even trained my children. Exceptional!

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